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Newsletter issue: July 2021

This fourth newsletter focuses on evaluation programmes and some of the tools and resources available to partners supporting implementation of the National Strategy.

Implementation actions map update – now online 

The National Strategy Implementation actions map has been updated to share progress made up to April 2021. In February this year the actions map moved online to the Reducing Gambling Harms hub of the Gambling Commission's new website, along with the content from the former National Strategy microsite. Traffic from the microsite is now being redirected to the hub, where users can filter the actions map using several different options. 

A number of stakeholders were involved in the user research to help shape the new implementation actions map and the hub. More information about our user research programme is available on the website. To get involved, either complete the form at the bottom of the link or contact

Strategy Implementation Groups update

Strategy Implementation Groups are made up of organisations which have come together to coordinate the delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms (the National Strategy) in Wales and Scotland. 

Initially convened by the Gambling Commission, the Implementation Groups bring together public health, local and national government, health and social care oversight and service commissioners with intelligence and other powers, to identify and determine the most impactful priority actions to reduce gambling harms, within the contexts of Wales and Scotland.  

Terms of reference, membership and summaries of Group meetings are available from the Reducing Gambling Harms hub

Focus on evaluation

Well-designed and well-delivered evaluation helps us to understand the effectiveness of programmes and activities designed to reduce the risk of gambling harms and supports the overall aim of the National Strategy.  

Good evaluation looks not only at the process, but also the impact on people and behaviour. This helps delivery organisations and policymakers understand the impact that interventions and activities have on how people gamble, how they experience harm, and how they respond to prevention and support activities.  

GambleAware evaluation resources 

GambleAware have recently relaunched their website, which now has a dedicated evaluation area listing published evaluation reports and evaluation programmes. This month the charity published an evaluation of the Gambling Support Service in England and Wales, delivered through the Citizens Advice network. 

Greo safer gambling evaluation programming 

Greo has developed a range of safer gambling evaluation resources and learning opportunities that are available to Strategy partners, and an evaluation evidence hub to showcase progress being made by partners to embed evaluation in their programming to support National Strategy delivery. Here, Greo describes the evaluation programming.

Safer gambling evaluation evidence hub

Greo's evaluation team has developed a suite of evaluation tools on the Safer Gambling Evaluation Evidence Hub. This evaluation evidence collection was informed by a 2020 consultation with National Strategy stakeholders about conducting meaningful evaluations of safer gambling initiatives.  As part of the consultation, several stakeholders offered to share evaluation reports and lessons learned from other Strategy stakeholders. 

Explore completed evaluations of:

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Evaluation Snapshot Programme

Greo's Evaluation Snapshots are designed to streamline learning about effective safer gambling policies, practices and programmes. These short, plain language summaries help your organisation answer two important questions about designing and evaluating safer gambling practices:
  1. Which safer gambling policies, practices and programmes are effective, for whom, and in which contexts?
  2. What are some promising practices in designing meaningful and proportionate evaluations of safer gambling policies, practices and programmes?
Sign-up to receive Greo's Evaluation Snapshots here. You can also monitor the Safer Gambling Evaluation Evidence Hub for regular updates.
Safer gambling evaluation learning opportunities

Greo are delivering several evaluation learning opportunities over the next year, in an effort to make the evaluation process as easy as possible. Well-designed and delivered evaluations are essential to understand the impact of safer gambling interventions and ultimately what works to reduce gambling harms in practice. All safer gambling stakeholders can benefit from learning how to assess a programme's effectiveness to make programming decisions and improve impacts. 
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‘Ask an Evaluator’ series

Access to professional evaluation insights can be a challenge for stakeholders who may have limited resources or in-house evaluation capacity. Greo has launched a no-cost service for Strategy partners called ‘Ask an Evaluator’. This programme will enable a quick reply from their seasoned evaluation team to help you work through your safer gambling evaluation questions.
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Theories of change for safer gambling programming

Good evaluation requires a thorough understanding of how and why a programme, activity, or initiative works in practice to achieve its intended outcomes. A theory of change captures all those details in one diagram. Stakeholders of the National Strategy have been working hard to embed evaluative thinking and structures into their safer gambling initiatives. Addiction Recovery Agency (Ara) and Beacon Counselling Trust recently worked with Greo to develop a theory of change (TOC) for their Safer Gambling Movement. Public Health Scotland will also be working with Greo in the coming months to develop a TOC for the Glasgow Gambling Harms Group's three-year pathfinder project.
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Adapting evaluations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Greo recognises that shifting safer gambling strategies to respond to the pandemic has been challenging for Strategy partners at best. While evaluation is critical to improving health outcomes and resource allocation, performing evaluations during the pandemic may seem daunting. Greo has compiled some best practices to streamline planning your evaluations, modify previously planned evaluations, or conduct real-time evaluations to test and iterate changes to programmes and policies rapidly during this unusual time.
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If you would like to share your own work to support the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms please contact

You can sign up to the newsletter here.

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